Ellington: Moving forward as state representative

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Friday, January 15, 2016

The 2016 Legislative Session has begun, and I have hit the ground running. Each new day brings a new lesson and resolve to work quickly to address the issues that our community and our state faces.

This year Hoosiers from across this great state have decried the poor status that our statewide standardized testing is in and how it poorly reflects on our educators. Teachers play a vital role in   educating our children and preparing them for the future. Being a native of Bloomington, education is in my blood and I am proud to support our universities and great educators. During this session, one of my top priorities is to find ways to improve teacher quality and retention, while reforming ISTEP testing so that it properly reflects our educator’s efforts.

The next priority I have my sights set on this session is transportation infrastructure funding. I’m proud Indiana is the Crossroads of America, but it is time Hoosiers take a hard look at how we fund our roads and bridges. In order to maintain our state’s reputation, we developed a plan that is responsible, comprehensive and sustainable. I will work on discovering a solution that is best for our local communities.

Finally, I want to share with you my recent assignment to three House committees that carefully analyze and make revisions to bills that come before the General Assembly. As a committee member, I have the privilege to hear testimony from members of our communities and professionals that directly impacts how I shape my opinion on matters. This session, I will serve as a member of the Interstate and International Commerce, Public Policy and Natural Resources committees.

As a member of the Interstate and International Commerce committee, I am going to hear legislation that safeguards Indiana’s legacy of being one of the most business friendly states in the country. I will ensure that the Crossroads of America not only fosters good will to our neighboring states, but to countries around the world looking to do business in our great state.

Public Policy will be an exciting committee, handling legislation concerning issues like gambling, tobacco and alcohol. The latter has been an extremely popular topic in recent years with regards to Sunday sales.

My final assignment is to the committee of Natural Resources. This committee handles legislation that pertains to state forestry and wildlife refuges. One of our greatest resources is the natural beauty of untouched forests and preserves in Indiana. Looking ahead, I am very optimistic about my participation in these committees.

As this session proceeds, I encourage you to watch these committees and participate in the discussion. To watch live committee hearings and learn more about the topics discussed in this column, please visit http://iga.in.gov.

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Rep. Ellington (R-Bloomington) represents all of
Greene County and portions of Monroe, Martin and Daviess counties.